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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love is in the Air

A lovely print to frame for decorations

What to give those you Love

     The great romantic holiday, Valentine’s Day is upon us again and I am still trying to come up with the perfect gift for my dh and three children and granddaughter.  I have bought  some items but none that seem to adequately convey how much they are to my world.
I hate shopping in the stores for stuff because that never seems to have enough sentiment to it.  I am making two things for my hubby.  One is this really cute pillowcase  that I found on Tip Junkie’s blog, but was originally designed by Creature Comforts.  The downloaded image is all ready to be printed on iron on transfer paper, then I just need  to buy two pillowcases, I already have transfer paper so I load the transfer paper into my printer, print it on the paper side, apply the transfer to the pre-washed pillowcases , and Voila!  This was from the movie, “Jerry Maguire”, in case it seemed familiar from you but you forgot the movie title.  The completed project  looks like this:
Shared By

Creature Comforts


 Then I found this beautiful quote that I turned into a print that I have printed and have framed.  After you have been married 26 years it is the words that don't get said anymore that are the most important to say. 

I thought I would share what I think are some of the best movies about "Love" that are out there.  I know I didn't include Love Story because it is just too darn sad for Valentine's Day, or the Vow because I thought it was tragic what those two had to go through.  I am sure there are more out there that would be wonderful to watch with your sweetie.  Send me your top ten or twenty list, I would love to see it.  Here's hoping your Valentine's Day is filled with Amore.

Top 20 Most Romantic Movies (according to me)
 1. The Notebook (2003) with Ryan Gosling (Noah) and Rachel McAdams (Allie)
2. An Affair to Remember (1957) with Cary Grant (Nicky) and Deborah Kerr (Terry)
3. Titantic (1997) with Leonardo DiCaprio (Jack) and Kate Winslet (Rose)
4. Casablanca (1942) with Ingrid Bergman (Ilsa) and Humphrey Bogart (Rick Blaine)
5. West Side Story 1961) with Natalie Wood (Maria) and Richard Beymer (Tony)

 6. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) with Jim Carrey (Joel) and Kate Winslet (Clementine)
7. Moulin Rouge (2001) with Ewan MacGregor (Christian) and Nicole Kidman (Satine)
8. P.S. I Love You (2007) with Gerard Butler (Gerry) and Hillary Swank (Holly)
9. Ghost (1990) with Patrick Swayze (Sam Wheat) and Demi Moore (Molly Jensen)
10. Gone with the Wind (1939) with Clark Gable (Rhett Butler) and Vivian Leigh (Scarlett O'Hara) 13. Dear John (2010) with Amanda Seyfried (Savannah) and Channing Tatum ( John)
14. Pride and Prejudice (2005) with Kiera Knightly (Elizabeth Bennett) and Matthew Macfadyen (Mr. Darcy)
15. My Fair Lady (1964) with Audrey Hepburn (Eliza Doolittle) and Rex Harrison (Henry Higgins
16. Romeo and Juliet (1996) with Leonardo DiCaprio (Romeo) and Claire Danes (Juliet)
 17. The African Queen (1951) with Humphrey Bogart (Captain Charlie Allnut) and Katherine Hepburn (Rose Sayer)
18. Dirty Dancing (1987) with Patrick Swayze (Johnny) and  Jennifer Grey (Frances aka Baby)
19. Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) with Audrey Hepburn (Holly Golightly) and George Peppard (Paul Varjak)
20. When Harry Met Sally (1989) with Meg Ryan (Sally) and Billy  Crystal (Harry)


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Color Me Domestic: Party favors and decorative magnets

Color Me Domestic: Party favors and decorative magnets

Hurray for Valentine's Day

Good Morning All! I can't believe that it has already been a month since Christmas. And I must confess that I packed away the last of the decorations just today. They consisted of those few stray items that get forgotten and a beautiful felt poinsettia pillow that I started way before Christmas but just finished. I couldn't stand the thought of opening the Christmas storage totes and finding an unfinished project from 2011 being added to my list of to-do's in November 2012. The good news is that I can now start Valentine's decorations and gifts. I don't go all out crazy for Valentines but I do like a holiday that allows you to share how much you care. It is also a special day because it is my wedding anniversary (yes, I am a romantic sap and thought getting married on Valentine's Day would be so sweet). Little did I know that each year our special day is invaded by all the other couples and we can barely get a dinner reservation to our favorite spots without paying and arm and a leg. Also, I am cut one less special gift day because the two are combined on one day, foolish girl. The really interesting tid bit is that my dh and I have been married 25 years, 25 years? That just can't be correct, because if I got married at 22 then that would make me....old!! Haha. I sure don't feel it, I mean some days, yes, but it just doesn't seem possible that I'm sliding into 50 soon. Enough about how time flies, and on to the day of Amore.

On to some fun. Go check out Stacie at The Three Sweet Peas, who shared some adorable Valentine gift tags that you can print out. Her link, http://www.thethreesweetpeas.com/search/label/printable

She is way talented and also shared a great tutorial on Tatertots and Jell-O's blog about making cute canvas liners for baskets.


Almost forgot to share my weekly menu for the week. So here it is:


Monday: Italian Zucchini Pie

Tuesday: Taco Pie

Wednesday: Barbeque Chicken, Steamed broccoli and cauliflower

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: Something with leftover ground beef from Tuesday

Saturday: Make your own Pizzas

Sunday: Chili


I also will try and get another post out this week to show you some of the projects that I am desperately trying to finish before I start anything new. I refinished an old french country dresser that we purchased when we first got married and have moved around everywhere but I now have it back in the master bedroom redone with Black satin paint and distressed somewhat. I painted the details in turquoise but after staring at it for over a week I think I am going to try filling them with a stain pen. The blue is just too something. I also redid a cherry finish media cabinet and both of the adjoining shelfs. The major work is done but there is some details that still to be wrapped up before I show the after pics.



Happy Hump Day!



Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What's for dinner???????

Okay, I've just survived another three day weekend with everyone home, and everyone screaming, "Mom, what's for dinner?"  or "Mom, what's for breakfast?"  Of course, they all get up at different times so that makes things extra challenging, and my two girls both had friends over for the weekend, and we had our adorable three year old granddaughter too.  Did I mention, that one of my daughter's is a vegetarian and my granddaughter is too.  Plus, Skyler (granddaughter) can't really tolerate dairy so she drinks only almond or coconut milk. Just typing this is making my jaw tighten from the stress of thinking of what to feed everyone.

I try to make the meals healthy because face it my dh and I both could stand to lose a few pounds, and I don't want to give my kiddos junk.  But, they cringe at the sight of a vegetable, esp. the vegetarian which makes things ten times more complex.  I've been trying to plan out a weekly menu to maintain some sanity around here which helps, but....  .  If anyone has these issues I would LOVE to hear how you handle this or maybe a cookbook that caters to picky eaters.  I just want to have time to finish the projects I've started, catch a reality show or two, read a chapter in my book, start a new craft, pin on Pinterest,and rest (ha ha).  And not spend four hours in the kitchen only to be greeted with, "What is that?", "Ew, fish. I think I'm allergic to seafood.", "Can't we just order a pizza?", "I'm not that hungry."

I noticed Lori at Our Forever House (http://ourforeverhouse.blogspot.com/)  posted a similar post about this same problem and she is posting her weekly menus so I an going to pony on to that and try posting my menus on here too.  Also, at the end of my post is her recipe for knock-off Chik-Fil-A Baked Nuggets that I am going to try plus a wonderful breakfast egg muffin I tried this weekend that was very yummy.  

Maybe by the end of 2012 I will have perfected the PERFECT FAMILY MENU. dun dun dun (serious times call for serious theme music), until then here is the plan for this week.  And yes, I know it's Tuesday, but today is my Monday because of Martin Luther King Day.  Hope everyone has a good day and bon appetit.

Honey Mustard Chicken Breasts
Leftover Steamed Green Beans
Leftover Carrots and Red Potatoes

Taco Tuesdays (copied from Rosa's Cantina, a Mexican fast food restaurant, who offers tacos at a ridiculous price on Tuesdays.

Fake Chik Fil A Nuggets
Sweet Potato Fries

Chicken Tortilla Soup using a kit from HEB

Broiled Lemon-Parmesan Tilapia



2 skinless and boneless chicken breasts
1 cup milk
1 egg
1 tbsp Tabasco
1 cups flour
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper

Trim away any fat from the chicken and cube them in to bite size pieces.  Try to keep them uniform in size so they cook evenly.  In a medium bowl whisk the egg and stir in the milk and Tabasco.  Place chicken in milk mixture and cover. Let it 'marinate' for 2-4 hours in the fridge (I let mine sit overnight since I made them 2 days in a row). This will make the chicken very nice and tender. Combine your dry ingredients in a bowl or large resealable bag.  Add your "marinated" chicken to the dry ingredients and coat.  Spread the chicken out on a large baking sheet, leaving space between.  Place the pan under the broiler.  Watch closely.  When the nuggets start to get a bit golden brown, remove the pan and turn over the chicken using tongs.  Place back under the broiler to brown the other side.  Under the broiler, the heat somewhat caramelizes the sugar in the breading which allows the nuggets to turn a golden brown and get a bit of a crunchy crust. 

Serve with your favorite dip and enjoy. 

The real secret to the recipe is the addition of powdered sugar in the breading which gives it some sweetness.  I never thought about that the nuggets at Chick are sweet, but they kind of are and that is what makes them so tasty.  I made a few changes to the original recipe.  Since I was baking these, I added some additional sugar to help crisp up the nuggets under the broiler.  I also added some Tabasco and cayenne to give the nuggets a bit more flavor and zip. 

Breakfast Egg Muffins
Sausage Egg Muffins Recipe
1 dozen eggs
1 1/2 Bisquick
1 c of whipping cream
1 tsp Spike seasoning
sliced green onions
shredded cheddar cheese (use as you like)
salt & pepper
Optional Add-ins:
sauteed mushrooms and fresh spinach
Cut up ham, or cooked turkey sausage

Mix together and pour into muffin tins.  Silicone works best but if you use paper liners use two and spray with oil.  Spray the silicone too these babies like to stick. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until golden brown on top.  Only fill the cups 2/3 full.  Can freeze and reheat in the microwave.  These are like the South Beach quiches that use egg whites and whipping cream, which I like but my kids have a hard time with.  Next time I am going to try it with low fat milk instead of the whipping cream to lower the calories and fat.  I just needed to use up some leftover whipping cream.

Broiled Parmesan-Lemon Tilapia (from allrecipes.com)

Pan-Seared Tilapia Recipe


  • 4 (4 ounce) tilapia fillets
  • 2 tablespoons Miami-style sazon seasoning (sazon completa)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter-margarine blend (such as Smart Balance®), melted
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fat-free mayonnaise (such as Kraft®)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon celery salt


  1. Preheat the oven's broiler and set the oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source. Line a broiler pan with aluminum foil. Spray the broiler pan's rack with olive oil cooking spray.
  2. Sprinkle tilapia with sazon seasoning and arrange on the prepared broiler rack.
  3. Mix the Parmesan cheese, butter-margarine blend, fat-free mayonnaise, lemon juice, lemon zest, basil, black pepper, onion powder, and celery salt together in a bowl and set aside.
  4. Cook the fillets under the preheated broiler until fish is barely opaque, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Spread the Parmesan cheese blend over the fish fillets, return to oven, and continue cooking until the topping is golden brown and the fish flakes easily, 3 to 5 more minutes.

  • Cook's Note:
  • You can substitute low-salt all-purpose seasoning blend for sazon completa.

Nutritional Information open nutritional information

Amount Per Serving  Calories: 213 | Total Fat: 10.1g | Cholesterol: 51mg

Monday, January 9, 2012

Rainy Days and Mondays..... make me want to listen to Kenny Loggins

Happy Monday.  Well, as the title suggests it is rain, rain, raining.  Which is great, except that it is Monday, my house majorally needs to be cleaned because everyone is at home over the weekend and I have let a few chores slide while I finish some projects.  I know, cleaniliness should come first for a stay-at-home Mother but....  I could complete that sentence, but I am sure that any of you out there who are like me know what that "but " means.  It feels way better to look at a completed project.  On a good note, I found a darling coffee table on the side of the road, squeezed it into my tiny Nissan Versa and brought that baby home.  My daughter is still trying to furnish her new home and this looks a lot like her dining table.  It is stained wood on top and painted flat white on the bottom ( I don't think whoever fixed this baby up took time to prime or you use decent paint because it looks really pathetic).  Now for the real fun.  I  sanded that baby down, primed the bottom, fixed the support that was missing underneath, re stained the top with Min Wax Mahogany and concocted a beautiful new turquoise with some clearance Martha Stewart samples.  I think the names of the samples were American Teal and Ocean Blue. I rolled the paint on with a sponge roller which let a gorgeous finish then finished it with a black glaze ( 2 parts Martha Stewart faux glaze and  1 part Behr Eggshell black paint ). I am stunned at the finished results.  My daughter says she is not sure is the turquoise will look good but her living area is white everywhere, white walls, white sofa, white chair and I just gave her a large spiced pumpkin orange jute rug.  If she doesn't love it, I may have to adopt this baby.  Check out the before and afters here.  All I need to do now is figure out what to do with the knobs.  Megan thinks some Anthropology knobs would look good but I am still trying to make my free table as low budget as possible and since I've only used what I had on hand.  It is still at 0 dollars.  Any thoughts or suggestions?  While you think, I'm going back to listening to "I'm Free (heaven can wait)",  one of the catchy songs from Footloose and KENNY LOGGINS.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

What does the name of your blog mean??

Choosing a name for your blog is a daunting task considering in the beginning you are not completely sure what it will always be about.  On a recent road trip with my daughter, Brynn, we threw around ideas and the name Pearls and Roses just seemed to be the one.  It is my Mother's first and middle name and since she is the person who inspired me, and taught me that you should never be afraid to try something new, it just seemed fitting for it to be dedicated to her.  I can remember when I was growing up the big thing was... Macrame.  She made owls, and hanging plant holders, and I think she even made a hanging glass table.  There was also the time she dabbled in ceramics and made all of these beautiful Hummel knock-offs, and Christmas tchochkes .  She made my clothes when I was little, painted our home, and basically never sat down.  And I've grown up to be just like her, well minus the clothes making, pillows, and curtains but no fashion comes out of my sewing machine.  

The other similarity with the name Pearls and Roses is that essentially who doesn't love to take something ugly and turn it into something beautiful.  But, of course there will be some thorns a long the way but it is worth the blood, sweat and tears when the rose finally blooms.  I hope to see some of your rose gardens, so please post pictures.  Until next time, here is a few of the makeovers I have just completed.  I will include details as soon as I can.

$4 Thrift Shop Find that I made into a nightstand for my granddaughter, Skyler, using homemade chalk paint.  I forgot to take the true before shot, which is where it was faded brown oak stain with water ring damage on top.  The top pic is the after with a coat of poly wax to seal it good.

This is a smoking table my grandfather made when he was in school in the 1920's.  I know a lot of you are thinking that I ruined this antique but, I love the way it looks now and I would never sell it because of the sentimental value.  Plus, I think my grandfather paid me a visit while I was refinishing it.  I finished sanding and turned off my palm sander, walked over to the table and wiped it down and as I started spraying the primer on, the sander turned on all by itself from across the room.  Who knows maybe this blog will turn more into something from Ghost Hunters?

Oh, and now for my favorite...My Grandfather Clock ( made by my Dad, not my grandfather).  Please disregard the huge pile of junk next to it.  This picture was taken during the recent wildfires in South Texas and I had a bunch of things on stand-by next to the front door in case we had to evacuate at a moment's notice.

I also used chalk paint for this project too, not Annie Sloan's but my homemade mixture of latex satin and plaster of paris dry mix.  It reminds me of cake batter when it is in the best form.  I glazed it with Martha Stewart's glaze mixed with some Behr Black satin latex.  It really gave it an aged look.  I actually got it working for about a week but it has went back to sleep for now.

 Now that the kiddos are back in school I better begin the BIG clean-up after everyone has been here for the past two weeks.  
Wish me luck!

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year, New Things

Well I finally did it.  I officially started my new blog.  I've been working on home improvement projects for what seems like my whole life, but now I get a chance to keep a diary or journal of sorts of what I've done.  This is actually pretty exciting since most of the time I hustle and bustle from one project to the next, never taking time to look back at my accomplishments.  Of course, they aren't always accomplishments.  Okay, maybe they are more like measures of my knowledge.  I love to jump in feet first and try new things.  I don't always get it right the first time, or second but I think each time a little experience is growing for my next venture.

I am amazed at all the talented people who I have discovered on the internet.  My 20 year old daughter was always go on and on about so and so's blog and what they had done, but I had never taken the time to browse.  First, she got me looking on Etsy ( Unbelieveable), then Pinterest (Totally addicting), and finally reading blogs from other women just like me who took on crafts, and painting, and sewing and furniture redo's and posted about it.  I felt like a kid in a candy shop.  Sometimes I have original ideas, but other times it is great to copy others genius.  I am promising myself that I will take time and load up some of the things I've worked on and am currently working on.  I can't wait to hear your feedback, suggestions and comments. So let the fun begin!